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21

Remember "isolate" doesn't mean "shown to be unrelated to any other language". It means "not shown to be related to any other language" (in a sufficiently convincing manner to establish a consensus). Basically, Korean is considered a language isolate because modern linguists expect relatedness to be demonstrated by showing there is a significant amount of ...


16

Yes, all of these cultures expect and use sorting pretty much just like alphabet-using cultures do. Japanese has a set of some 46 phonetic characters called kana. They're arranged by phonetics in a table of fixed order, called the 50 sounds table (gojūonzu), a descendant of Sanskrit phonetic tables. Textual data, glossaries, lists etc. are usually sorted ...


12

Nán (南) is "south" in Chinese. Addendum: the Middle Chinese form assumed by Sagert & Baxter is nom. The reconstructions from their book are available here.


12

Apart from the three languages you named, I know of at least three additional major languages that have used the Chinese script; which are, Thai, Zhuang, and Mongolian. Several minor ones that have also used it include Miao, Yao, Bouyei, Kam, Bai, and Hani. Thai used to use the Chinese script until the 13th century, when it was abandoned in favor of an ...


10

This was too long for a comment, and I think it starts to go towards an answer, so I've posted it as such. Assumptions are, as I'm sure you're aware, often problematic. Modern Japanese, and to a lesser extent, Late Middle Japanese, are the odd men out when it comes to pronouns in Japonic languages. Old Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages have pronominal ...


10

The notion "degree of X" really requires a three-way distinction to be valid, as in degrees of length (Estonian, Saami, Dinka), nasalization (Palantla Chinantec) or breathiness (Bor Dinka). If there are only two systematic values, we say "it is" or "it isn't", and we don't have to say "how much" (degree). In the present case, it is likely that you are using ...


10

It is unlikely, since Google translates the Korean original 늙다리(미치광이) (neulgdalimichigwang-i) as "an old man lunatic", where "늙다리" (neulgdali) conveys "old" and "미치광이" (michigwang-i) conveys "maniac". Google maintains that "dotard" is "도살장" (dosaijang) which, however, it translates back to English as "slaughterhouse", so I think Google can be let off the ...


10

As you may know, "single" stops in Korean are weakly aspirated in initial position only (audio example), so Japanese stops in the unvoiced series (such as た) correspond to Korean "single" stops (e.g. ㄷ) in initial position. They are not perceived as ㅌ because the aspirated series in initial position in Korean is much more strongly ...


9

The similarity in sound is the result of two factors: overlapping phonetic inventories, and word length (which affects syllable duration). If you wanted to quantify the similarity, those would be the factors to focus on. The other part of "why" focuses not on what you are reacting to, but what causes the languages to be similar. The best explanation is that ...


8

According to 'A history of the Korean language' (p 271) the Korean subject particle ka is a recent development in that language, not being attested at all until the sixteenth century, and probably not in common use until the 18th century and thereafter. This means we can rule out the possibility that it is cognate with the Japanese ga (ie they are not ...


8

Of course it can be used to record lots of other languages and you can find the complete list here For Vietnamese a new type of script called chữ nôm based on Chinese characters is created. There are many ways to construct the new characters: Borrow the whole Chinese character and meaning with its Sino-Vietnamese reading. Sometimes it's also used to ...


8

Because it isn't. When one takes the arrangement of the Hangul jamos to syllables in square fields apart, it is a fully alphabetic writing system with separate and independent symbols for vowels and consonants.


8

Native Korean speaker here. changed pronunciations so pairs of words are no longer homonyms: NO changed spellings so pairs of words are no longer homographs: NO Spelling of Sino-Korean words are very rigid: with very few exception they are spelled in the way each constituent character (i.e., a Chinese character) is spelled. In most cases pronunciation ...


8

Cree syllabics seems to the be simplest by any count. The letters ᐊ ᐸ ᑕ ᑲ ᒐ ᒪ ᓇ ᓴ ᔭ represent the consonants Ø p t k ch m n s y (this is the "a" form), and vowels are indicated by the orientation of the basic shape, so ᐸ ᐯ ᐱ ᐳ is respectively [pa pe pi po]. The rule for orientation is not entirely trivial: it involves flipping or rotation, so ...


7

For Japanese at least, both happened: sometimes the characters are used semantically, others phonetically - either according to their Chinese pronunciation (which can come from either a Northern or Southern, earlier or recent form of Chinese) or to the Japanese reading. For instance, one of the Chinese readings of the char. "origin/beginning/birth" is "hon"....


6

Korean has no /f/ sound (unvoiced labiodental fricative), so it has to approximate it with a sound it does have. There are two possibilities. ㅍ is a labial plosive that is heavily aspirated. The heavy aspiration makes it similar to a fricative, so it sounds similar. It's also unvoiced, so that helps. So it's used in loanwords like 파일 (file). ㅎ is ...


6

This article starts with a convenient summary of the literature on the production of Korean tense consonants. One of the first studies on the topic is C.W. Kim "On the autonomy of the tensity feature in stop classification" (Word 1970), who found they they involve greater duration of oral pressure buildup, less airflow at the start of the vowel and greater ...


5

Kang, Kenstowicz & Ito observe that treatment of [f] is a bit more variable. They say that direct loans from English have [pʰ] ([pʰodɨ] "Ford"), but ultimately English-based loans can also come via Japanese, where [h] is an allophone of /φ/ which is the closest fricative in Japanese to English [f]. So this can lead to pairs like "muffler" appearing in ...


5

The Japanese case marker =ga (a post-clitic), was not originally a subject marker. We can easily see this in the Ryūkyūan languages, related to Japanese, as well as historically attested forms. It's important to keep in mind that standard Japanese is actually fairly innovative when compared to other Japonic languages, both historical and modern. Originally, ...


5

A common origin for two languages is a concept that has been proposed and theoretically grounded within the comparative method invented at the beginning of the 19th cent. by Rask, Bopp and Grimm. Two languages are considered genetically related if and only if they present patterns of regular phonological correspondences in words with similar meanings. No ...


5

It's an old question, but no one gave an answer that covers Korean. Korean is written in Hangul, which combines "initial", "middle", and (an optional) "final" letters in a single syllable block. For example, a syllable 팔 is composed of initial ㅍ, middle ㅏ, and final ㄹ. 구 is composed of initial ㄱ and middle ㅏ, without a final letter. Initial, middle, and ...


5

Extremely similar phonemic systems. In particular, both languages tightly limit syllable-ending consonants, unlike English which permits almost any consonant to end a syllable. Large numbers of loan words from Chinese converted into those similar phonemic systems means that there are many phonetic cognates. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


5

jogloran's answer is a good explanation on why it's possible to transcribe word-initial /k/, /t/ to Korean ㄱ and ㄷ. As for why it had to be that way, there's no logical answer - IMHO the other way (always transcribing /k/ to ㅋ, for example) makes just as much sense, but when the rule was decided, apparently the scholars liked the current scheme better. If ...


4

To answer the last question first, Infinitive is a term from Latin grammar. It refers in Latin to one of several tenseless verb forms. Etymologically, infinitive means 'unending' (just like infinite); here the reference is to lack of tense. In other languages, infinitive is often used to describe one, or more, untensed verb forms. The Latin terms Participle, ...


4

Infinitives are rather different in different languages, and some languages, like Bulgarian, don't have infinitives at all. In some languages infinitives have a special suffix and are easily recognized, e. g. in Russian the most typical infinitival suffix is -ть, like in писать 'to write', читать 'to read', etc. In English the infinitives are in most cases ...


4

Besides what others mentioned here, there's also the fact that as foreigners, we are more likely to hear the similarities (especially when we know a few words) than the differences. For me, after I met a few people from the south and from the north of China, Cantonese and Mandarin seemed pretty similar. Mostly because my limited vocabulary (of maybe 10 ...


4

disclaimer: I'm not an expert Hangul does seem to meet the Wikipedia definition of Syllabary: a syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent the syllables or (more frequently) moras which make up words. So now let's see how we can tell syllabaries and abugidas apart. From the "Differences from Abugidas" section: In [abugidas], unlike in ...


4

I don't think issue has been explored in a systematic way, and it's not clear how it could be. Theoretically, one might record human language contrasts like tal, thal, ttal uttered by a parrot (how do you decide that the parrot intended to utter tal versus thal?), and present them to human speakers of the language, to see if (without training) they correctly ...


4

TL;DR: language contact between Japanese and Korean has been particularly strong due to historical factors. There have been some papers that break down the different paths of divergence between them and with Modern Standard Chinese. A lot of Sino-Japanese (specifically go-on readings from 4th-6th centuries CE) was filtered through an early layer of Sino-...


3

No, Japanese would not use について because the verb to be used would be あきる, see also here. The reason is that あきる requires the object to be marked with the case particle -ni: 私は豚肉に飽きた。 watashi-wa butaniku-ni aki-ta. 'I grew tired of pork.' The expression について is often better translated as about: 私は言語学についての本を読んだ。 watashi-wa gengo-gaku-ni tsuite-no hon-o ...


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